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  1. Dragon Models is working on a new tool 1/48th Messerschmitt Bf.109E kit - ref. DR5550 Sources: http://platz-media.com/blog/2019/09/22/2019-ahs-dragon/ http://www.platz-hobby.com/products/9386.html V.P.
  2. Hallo This two kits I have presently in progress. Both of them differ in a high variety from Eduard. You can see it easily. The assembling from the Tamiya kit is very strange. You have no clue what is on, if you are a newbie. If you are quite familiar with this type, you scratch your head by the weird ideas from Tamiya. You must stick on to 100% on the instruction! Like flying with the manual on your knees! To me, no fun, no relaxing time! Here is one mistake too, the fuel primer pump is the wrong side, since the instrument shows to the outer side, not to the pilot’s face. I turned it. Zvezda is much more easy to understand, makes sense. If some details are not so good as Tamiya, but much better than Eduard! The engine is not detailed much, but makes in many aspect sense! So have a look! In opposition to that my Eduard thread: TAMIYA ZVEZDA Happy modelling
  3. 1/48 Avia S-199 (post war Bf 109) is planed for next two or three years. source: http://modelforum.cz/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=95280&start=4005#p1897662 downscale to 1/72 is planed too (like all Eduard projects) but more years in future.
  4. 1/72 Messerschmitt Bf 109 line as part of the Eduard 1/72 revolution Bf 109F-2/F-4/G-2/G-4 versions confirmed - in 3D construction source: http://ipmsnymburk.com/forum/viewtema.php?ID_tema=11559 post 26531) 26.06.2015-13:08 S.199 is confirmed as a future release for later time with the 1/72 MiG-21 line
  5. Bf.109K-14 Late (AZ7850) 1:72 AZ Model by Kovozávody Prostějov With almost 34,000 examples constructed over a 10-year period, the Messerschmitt Bf.109 is one of the most widely produced aircraft in history and it saw active service in every theatre in which German armed forces were engaged. Designed in the mid-1930s, the Bf.109 shared a similar configuration to the Spitfire, deploying monocoque construction and V12 engine, albeit an inverted V with fuel injection rather than a carburettor used in the Spit. Initially designed as a lightweight interceptor, like many German types during WWII, the Bf.109 evolved beyond its original brief into a bomber escort, fighter bomber, night fighter, ground-attack and reconnaissance platform. The Bf.109G series, colloquially known as the Gustav, was first produced in 1942. The airframe and wing were extensively modified to accommodate a more powerful engine, greater internal fuel capacity and additional armour. In contrast to early 109s, which were powered by engines delivering less than 700hp, some of the later Gustavs could output almost 2000hp with water injection and high-performance superchargers. The Gustav series accounted for a dizzying array of sub-variants, some of which featured a larger tail of wooden construction. Odd number suffixed aircraft had pressurised cockpits for high altitude operation, Erla Haube clear view canopy with clear rear head armour, underwing points for tanks, cannon or rockets and larger main wheels resulting in square fairings on the inner upper wings to accommodate them. The K series or Kurt was an attempt by the RLM to standardise production after the myriad of Gustav sub-variants, adding large rectangular blisters on the upper wings to accommodate wider wheels, and a more powerful variant of the DB engine that could propel it to around 440mph on a good day with the right fueling. Despite the difficulties experienced in manufacture at that late stage of the war, a few thousand of them were produced before the end, although the lack of well-trained pilots was more of an issue. The Kit This is a reboxing of AZ’s original tooling from 2014, with some new parts somewhere along the way. It’s a well-detailed kit with moulded-in equipment in the cockpit sidewalls, details in the wheel wells, and subtle exterior detail too, especially on the fuselage parts. It arrives in a small end-opening box with an attractive painting of the subject matter sporting a violet nose on the front, and the decal option profiles on the rear. Inside are three sprues in grey styrene, a tiny clear sprue in its own Ziploc bag, two decal sheets and the instruction booklet. You will need to pay attention to the sprues, as there are four fuselage halves in the box, due to the earlier G fuselage being on the same sprue as the wings, which will be needed. Construction begins with the cockpit, which is well-detailed as previously mentioned, consisting of the floor with rear bulkhead, seat base, rudder pedals, control column, trim wheels, gunsight, a well-recessed instrument panel (sadly no decal, despite the instructions mentioning one), and the moulded-in side wall detail, plus the forward bulkhead, which has the cannon-breech cover inserted before it is added to the front of the assembly. It is glued into the new starboard fuselage half when completed, and the exhaust stacks are slipped through the slots in the cowling on both sides ready to be closed. There is a top cowling insert added later to complete the fuselage, which has the two nose machine gun troughs and a pair of gun barrels on a carrier insert, a combined fin and rudder, while the fuselage has a smoothly faired side to that lacks the prominent Beule of the earlier G, and head armour that is moulded clear because it has a section of armoured glass in the centre. The lower wing is full-width except for the tips, which are moulded into the upper surfaces for fidelity, and these have the radiators depicted by front and rear faces inserted into the fairings after a little thinning, reducing their shape as per a set of scrap diagrams. The uppers are glued over and have the rectangular fairings laid over the previous half-moon blisters, and then you can paint the whole gear bays and insert the radiator flaps, which also get a coat of RLM66 on the inside, like most of the interior – I thought that the gear bays would still be RLM02, but what do I know? The wings and the fuselage are mated, then the landing gear is prepped, although they’re best left off until later. The struts have the scissor-links moulded-in, separate wheels and captive bay doors, using the wider tyres in preference to the earlier narrow ones that are left on the sprue. The elevators are both moulded as a single part, and attach to the tail in the usual slot and tab manner, then the prop with broader blades is made up with the appropriate front and back spinner parts, sliding into the hole in the flat front of the fuselage. The correct retractable tail wheel and two doors for the bay are fixed under the rear, and the single-part clear blown canopy with edge framing only on the canopy covers the cockpit with the D/F loop and fairing quite a way back down the spine. Aileron horn balances, chin intake, extra fuel tank and pylon or bomb, plus the outer bay doors are put on toward the end of the build, although many pilots would remove the outer doors in the field to save weight and reduce the number of things to maintain by two. The two-part air intake on the port side of the cowling is last to be fixed on its raised mounting. Markings There are three options on the main decal sheet, while the separate sheet contains all the stencils, which is good to see at this scale. From the box you can build one of the following: The decals are printed using a digital process and have good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut loosely around the printed areas. This means that the carrier film on their decals can be coaxed away from the printed part of the decal after they have been applied, effectively rendering them carrier film free, making the completed decals much thinner and more realistic, and obviating the need to apply successive coats of clear varnish to hide the edges of the carrier film. It’s a great step further in realism from my point of view, and saves a good quantity of precious modelling time into the bargain. Conclusion Some interesting markings and camouflage options that appear to be dated just after WWII, although a little research on both the named pilots indicates that Herman Graf went missing late in the war, while Willi Maximowitz was languishing in a Soviet gulag at the time he was supposed to be flying the violet-nosed option. Perhaps they’re what-if markings? Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. From Those decals were so stressful. They're barely adhering to the surfaces. If only I had my micro bottles here. If I had a little more time (we're now prepping for tomorrow's journey home) I'd paint over the exposed glue around the port side air intake, and on the gaps around the very poorly fitting canopy. I can't claim my camouflage painting skills are particularly good (and some of the darker top colour seemed to come off when applying the big decals), but still, I'm pretty pleased with the results bearing in mind how little equipment I had. J
  7. Hallo Concerning: Canopy! Read it carefully, especially for people who are not familiar with the Bf-109! The instruction contains errors, which may spoil you your model. In detail, the canopy. On page #7 You see this. This items are only used for an Erla canopy or a vision improofed canopy. The models in this kit do have only the early hood of the Giustav! No variant for an Erla canopy in this kit! As shown in the instruction of the SDL 48014 SPACE item: And on page #9 the next error: Concerning the head armor plate. So far. Happy modelling
  8. Hallo Has anyone proper drawings or photos of the oxygen regulator equipment? In a Messerschmitt Bf-109 Gustav. From version 2 onward to 14. I think they are all the same. Not sure about it. At the right side of the cockpit. In my books here I lack this details. Since I doubt about the details in my Eduard kits. Thanks in forward Happy modelling
  9. My3dbase has released 1/48th and 1/72nd Messerschmitt P.1112 late version with HeS011 printed kits Source: https://www.my3dbase.com/shop/Messerschmitt-P-1112-late-version-with-HeS011-p546581109 V.P.
  10. New RS Models kits will be 1/48th Messerschmitt P.1101: - ref. 48008 - Messerschmitt P.1110 - https://www.rsmodels.cz/p/421/48008-me-p-1101 (released) - ref. 48009 - Messerschmitt P.1110 - Nightfighter - https://www.rsmodels.cz/p/422/48009-messerschmitt-me-p1101 (soon) Source: https://www.facebook.com/RSModels.cz/posts/pfbid0AhKZaQXMWPdudHyDA8wSnXrKbV4TdG6zV2P3suUvbr4npczbWYmkye7hEPPGViTMl Box art V.P.
  11. Bf.109F-4 Weekend Edition (84188) 1:48 Eduard The Bf.109 needs little introduction, suffice to say that it was the Luftwaffe’s mainstay frontline fighter throughout WWII, and went through many incarnations in the constant leapfrogging of technology in order to keep up with and in some cases surpass the allied fighters it was up against. The F variant was the second major redesign of the basic airframe, including a further uprated engine and the attendant strengthening of the airframe that required, plus adding rounded tips to the wings that remained for the rest of the 109’s career. It fought in small numbers toward the end of the Battle of Britain and was finally phased out of front-line service in 1942 to be replaced by the Gustav, some of the obsolete airframes used as Mistel chaperones, which was a dangerous task. The Kit This is a reboxing of Eduard’s recent tool that is based upon the original Emil tooling that was released as far back as 2013, as unbelievable as that might sound. The weekend Editions have traditionally been stripped-down basic kits with one decal option and nothing else, for the dedicated modeller to build and paint them over a weekend. They’ve clearly never met me! The kit arrives in a blue-themed Weekend top-opening box, and inside are four sprues of grey styrene, a clear sprue, instruction booklet and two decal sheets that contain four marking options plus a sheet that’s devoted to just the stencils. Detail is up to Eduard’s usual high standard, without the Photo-Etch (PE) that usually accompanies their ProfiPACK editions, which will doubtless please those that are PE phobic. Construction begins in the cockpit, with styrene details aplenty, plus a nice transparent fuel feeder pipe, which is clear so that you can mask the vision port and paint the rest. This was a lo-fi way for the pilot to quickly check whether his engine was sucking vapours, or had stalled for another reason. Seatbelt decals are included, and the instrument panel has a choice of a detailed panel to paint, or a flat panel to apply a decal to, although with plenty of softening solution, you could probably apply the decal over the raised details of the other panel if you wish. The sidewalls too are decorated with more decals, after which you can close the fuselage. Don't forget to trap the tail wheel between the halves, or you'll regret it later. The backplate for the spinner and exhaust stubs are installed, and the top cowling with gun inserts is glued into place along with the intake for the engine's turbocharger, a hinge section is fixed tothe top of the cowling, and flame-hiders exhausts that are pushed through from the inside on both sides. For the tropical options, a filter body is inserted into the turbocharger intake, wrapping a decal around the cylindrical section to depict the filter material. The elevator fins are each two parts and fit using pins, with separate elevators and rudder. The wings are based upon a full-width lower, adding main gear sidewalls and split upper wings, plus separate parts for the leading-edge slats (gravity deployed when stationary), ailerons, and the two-layer flaps that butt up to the back of the radiator bays, which have details engraved front and back, as does the chin-scoop. A scrap diagram shows the correct positioning of the flaps when they are deployed. The main gear is the same narrow-track stuff of earlier models, with separate tyres and hubs, plus captive bay doors, slotting into the bay snugly. Horn-balances are fitted to the ailerons to finish under the wings. In the cockpit, the gunsight is added from a partially painted (by you) clear part, and if you add a little translucent green/blue to the edge to simulate the thickness of the glass, it will improve the look of the finished part. The windscreen is glued into position, and the canopy has head armour inserted at an angle shown by the accompanying diagram, slotting in between the windscreen and fixed rear portion, the latter having an aerial inserted into the hole in the rear. The canopy can be posed open by adding a restraint from fine wire, and some decal options have additional armour applied to the front of the windscreen, which is best done with a non-fogging glue or clear varnish. The prop is a single part, which has the two-piece spinner clamped around it, after which you can either glue it in place, or leave it loose for travel and impromptu spinning if you like. Once painting is complete, a pair of strengthening straps are applied as decals under the tail on both side for two of the decal options only. Markings Contrary to Weekend Editions of yesteryear, this boxing has four decal options, with plenty of variation in colour and location of the airframes. From the box you can build one of the following: Bf.109F-4/Trop, Wnr.8673 Hptm. Hans-Joachim Marseille, CO of 3./JG27, Quotaifiya, Egypt, September 1942 Bf.109F-4, Lt. Hans-Joachim Heyer, 8./JG54, Siverskaya, Soviet Union, 1942 Bf.109F-4/Z. Wnr.7420, Lt. Hermann A Graf, CO of 9./JG52, Kharkov-Rogan, Soviet Union, May 1942 Bf.109F-4/Trop, Wnr.10145, Fw. Rudolf Müller, 6./JG5, Petsamo, Finland, June 1942 The decals are printed by Eduard and are in good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut loosely around the printed areas. The stencils are on a separate sheet, and are marked on a page of the booklet, separate from the rest of the markings to avoid confusion from trying to read overly busy diagrams. Don’t forget that as of 2021, the carrier film from Eduard decals can be coaxed away from the printed part of the decal after they have been applied, effectively rendering them carrier-free, making the decals much thinner and more realistic, and obviating the need to apply successive coats of clear varnish to hide the edges of the film. It’s a great step further in realism from my point of view. Conclusion A welcome re-release of this excellent kit without the bells and whistles that some folks don’t need or want. If you change your mind though, they’re available separately anyway for you to pick and choose. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  12. Wingsy Kits is working on a new tool 1/48th Messerschmitt Bf.109E-1/-3/-4/-7 family of kits. My only comment: I'm not the investor, it's the model kit market that will decide the well or not well-founded of this choice. Source: in the comments https://www.facebook.com/Wingsykits/photos/a.961746970607307/2446782888770367/?type=3&theater V.P.
  13. Bf.109G-6 SPACE Interior Set (3DL48100 for Tamiya) 1:48 Eduard Brassin The Eduard SPACE sets use new 3D printing techniques that lay down successive layers of different colour resin, creating highly realistic almost full complete panels that are supplied on a decal sheet. They can depict metallic shades, plus glossy, satin and matt colours too, which really ups the detail on everything they print. In addition, a small sheet of nickel-plated and pre-painted PE is included for the aspects of the set that lend themselves better to this medium, such as seatbelts and rudder pedals. The main instrument panel is replaced entirely after removing the moulded-in kit detail, with a separate decal over the centre cluster of larger dials, and another small panel that has been supplied with a PE backing plate to suspend it from the underside of the main panel. Two more small decals complete filling in the remaining spaces on the panel. On the starboard sidewall is a trio of decals for the dials and stencils under the visible area of the fuel line, plus two more for the part beneath it, and another on the other side. The floor instrument boxes have their faces removed to accept another three tiny decals, then the remaining PE parts are used to create a full set of crew belts with comfort pads under the buckles, and add a few toggles and levers to the main instrument panel. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  14. Calling for all Bf 109 exerten in the community to help on a question about the Emil. I am building two braile scale 109Es and I want to leave the cowling panels removable to show the engine bay and machine gun details. I've seen mulitple photos of the MG17s on the Emil where the barrels go through a separate cowling of sorts. Here are some examples, Franz von Werra's famous E-4 and another Luftwaffe 109E(-4?). Franz von Werra E-4 However, I've also seen photos of Emils whose MG17 do not have cowl over the barrels.. So am I somewhat confused and I can't quite figure out how the main cowling panel was installed on top. 🤔 Were these removed only for maintenance? Were they installed only on some subvariants or batches produced by a specific factory? And how do they interact with the main top cowling panel on the Emil, are they sort of inserts, does it cover them partially or completely?
  15. Bf.109E-3 ProfiPACK (7032) 1:72 Eduard With almost 34,000 examples manufactured over a 10-year period, the Messerschmitt Bf.109 is one of the most widely produced aircraft in history and it saw active service in every theatre in which German armed forces were engaged. Initially designed in the mid-1930s, the Bf.109 shared a similar general arrangement with the Spitfire, employing monocoque construction and a V12 engine, albeit an inverted V with fuel injection rather than the carburettor used in the Spit. Initially designed as a lightweight interceptor, like many German types during WWII, the Bf.109 evolved beyond its original brief into a bomber escort, fighter bomber, night fighter, ground-attack and reconnaissance platform. The E variant, or Emil as it was more affectionately known was the first major revision of the original design, including an uprated engine and the attendant strengthening of the airframe that was required. It first saw service in the Legion Condor fighting in the Spanish civil war on the side of Nationalist forces of Military Dictator Franco, and then in the Battle of Britain where it came up against its nemeses the Supermarine Spitfire and Hawker Hurricane during the critical fight for the survival of the RAF and Britain, which was key to halting Operation Seelöwe, the invasion of Britain by the Nazis. Like the Spitfire it fought against, it was improved incrementally through different marks, the Emil was similarly tweaked to keep pace, with later variants having additional long-range tankage, plus structural improvements and a simpler squared-off canopy with clear frontal armour, but apart from various field modifications and a few low-volume sub-variants, it had reached the end of its tenure, and was phased out in favour of the Friedrich and later the Gustav. The Kit This is a reboxing of a recent kit in collaboration with Special Hobby in your favourite wee scale. It arrives in a modest top-opening box that has the ProfiPACK themed gold banner, and inside are two sprues of grey styrene, a fret of pre-painted nickel-plated Photo-Etch (PE), a sheet of pre-cut kabuki-style masking tape, two decal sheets and the instruction booklet printed in colour on glossy paper, and with profiles for the decal options on the rear pages. Detail is excellent, especially for the scale, and includes a lot of engraved panel lines and rivets in differing thickness and depths, as well as all the other recessed and raised details, plus engine and gun bays that you can expose as we’ve come to expect from Eduard and Special Hobby. Construction begins with nipping the ends off two raised lines on the cockpit front bulkhead, which is then glued to the floor along with a choice of styrene or PE rudder pedals, the latter shown being folded to assist you with the process. The sloped rear bulkhead is attached to the rear, and a box is made up in front of the bulkhead from three parts with details moulded on the sides. The seat and PE belts are slotted into the rear of the cockpit, and the instrument panel is made from the styrene backing part, which receives two sections of laminated PE along with some toggles and levers to detail it. It is then glued to the nose gun bay floor, which is prepared with a few PE parts installed on the diagonal ammo feeders for the cannons once the bay is attached to the front of the cockpit on the boxed in area. You can use a pair of barrel stubs on a cross-bar for the closed bay, or the full guns with breeches if you intend to leave the bay open. The engine is built around two halves, adding the serial decal and removing a small block of styrene from the rear before you add the ancillaries, supercharger and bell housing with horseshoe oil tank at the front, plus the two mounts and their braces on the sides. Before closing the fuselage halves, the cockpit interior sides are detailed with PE and styrene extras, painting things up as you go along, then a pair of inserts are places in the cowling behind the exhausts, the exhausts are inserted through their openings, and the engine, cockpit and tail-wheel are all trapped between them. If you plan on closing up all the bays, the top and gun bay cowlings can be glued in place along with the filter for the supercharger. At the rear, the rudder, elevators and their support struts are all installed on tabs and pins into their respective holes to ensure they are oriented correctly. The lower wings are full span, and the gear bay wall cut-outs are skinned with PE details, as are the surfaces of the radiators and the chin intake, which also gets skinned on each side of the trough that fits inside the fairing. The upper wings are brought in and glued over the lowers, and the three-section flying surfaces are installed on each trailing edge, with radiator fairings that have optional PE cooling vents glued over the cores. The fuselage and wings are mated together, adding the leading-edge slats, which should be deployed under their own weight when parked, and a gun barrel projecting from each wing. The canopy can be posed open or closed, consisting of a fixed windscreen that has PE detailing added, and rear section that accepts the antenna, then the canopy opener is prepared by inserting the head armour and a small PE lever inside, and deciding whether to glue it closed or open to the starboard side, held in place by a retaining strap made of PE. A scrap diagram shows how it should look from the front. The prop blades are moulded as one, and are sandwiched between the spinner and back-plate and inserted on the axle at the front of the fuselage, then all that is left to create are the main gear legs. Each leg is a single strut, and you should first remove the strap running down most of its length, replacing it with a PE brake hose, adding the captive bay door, and of course the wheel onto the short cross-axle. Another scrap diagram shows the correct orientation of the assemblies once complete. Fitting a pair of horn balances on the ailerons, and an L-shaped pitot probe under the port wing completes the plastic wrangling. Markings There are a generous six decal options on the sheet, with a variety of early war schemes to choose from. From the box you can build one of the following: W.Nr.1079, Ofw. Erich Rudorffer, 2./JG2, Baumont-le-Roger, France, September 1940 Oblt. August-Wilhelm Schumann, 5./JG52, Mannheim-Sandofen, Germany, November-December 1939 W.Nr.1380, Obstlt. Carl-Alfred Schumacher, CO of JG1, Jever, Germany, early 1940 Obstlt. Max Ibel, CO of JG27, Guines, France, September-October 1940 W.Nr.1271, Oblt. Helmut Heinz, CO of 4./JG77, Kristiandsand-Kjevik, Norway, September 1940 W.Nr.5058, Fw. Arthur Haase, 6./JG51, Marquise-West, France, August 1940 The decals are printed by Eduard and are in good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The stencils are on a separate sheet, and are marked on a page of the booklet, separate from the rest of the markings to avoid confusion trying to read overly busy diagrams. Don’t forget that as of 2021, the carrier film from Eduard decals can be coaxed away from the printed part of the decal after they have been applied, effectively rendering them carrier-free, making the decals much thinner and more realistic, and obviating the need to apply successive coats of clear varnish to hide the edges of the film. It’s a great step further in realism from my point of view. Conclusion This is a highly detailed, comprehensive model of the early WWII variant of the Bf.109, complete with a good number of interesting schemes to choose from. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  16. Bf.109G-14/AS 3D Printed Upgrade Set (3DL48092) 1:48 Eduard SPACE We reviewed Eduard’s recent boxing of their excellent Bf.109G-14/AS high-altitude fighter here, and in its ProfiPACK guise it includes PE instrument panels. If you have another edition that doesn’t have those upgrades, this set should be of interest, adding modern printing technology and detail to the cockpit. The Eduard SPACE sets use new 3D printing techniques that lay down successive layers of different colour resin, creating highly realistic almost full complete panels that are supplied on a decal sheet. They can depict metallic shades, plus glossy, satin and matt colours too, which really ups the detail on everything they print. In addition, a small sheet of nickel-plated and pre-painted PE is included for the aspects of the set that lend themselves better to this medium, such as seatbelts and rudder pedals. After removing the engraved detail from the floor next to where the seat will sit, the flat surfaces have three 3D printed decals added to replace and augment those areas, and when the seat is installed, it is then detailed by adding the four-point seatbelts, which also have comfort pads under the buckles, with little brackets attaching to the rear shelf giving a realistic location where the shoulder harnesses are held in place. The instrument panel is a straight replacement that is applied to the blank instrument panel that is on the sprues, laminating two main layers and a smaller central layer to complete the task. The cockpit sidewalls are also updated with several instrument faces after removing the moulded-in detail, one of which is held at an angle by a PE bracket. The oxygen regulator is also given a new face, and the remaining PE parts are added, along with a T-shaped toggle that’s inserted into the instrument panel. Conclusion I’m a huge fan of 3D printed instrument panels and their ilk, and look out for them whenever I start a new project. This set should give the already excellent Eduard kit an additional boost in detail that is well worth the effort and asking price. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  17. Me.262A 3D Printed Upgrade Set (3DL48085 for Tamiya) 1:48 Eduard SPACE The Tamiya Me.262A is getting quite old now, but it’s still a good kit that would benefit from a new lease of life by adding some modern technology aftermarket to the cockpit. The Eduard SPACE sets use new 3D printing techniques that lay down successive layers of different colour resin, creating highly realistic almost full complete panels that are supplied on a decal sheet. They can depict metallic shades, plus glossy, satin and matt colours too, which really ups the detail on everything they print. In addition, a small sheet of nickel-plated and pre-painted PE is included for the aspects of the set that lend themselves better to this medium, such as seatbelts and rudder pedals. After removing the engraved detail from the kit instrument panel, the flat surfaces have four 3D printed decals added to replace and augment the part, with a choice of a different centre console with an alternative layout of instruments. The side consoles are similarly stripped of their moulded-in details, covered over with new decals, and with a lever on a backing plate on the starboard side, next to the kit fuse board, which has a cut-out in the decal to allow everything to sit well together. The pilot’s seat is then detailed by adding the four-point seatbelts, which also have comfort pads under the buckles, and you should remove the two small pips on the back of the seat before gluing the shoulder harnesses in place. Conclusion I’m a huge fan of 3D printed instrument panels and their ilk, and look out for them whenever I start a new project. This set should give the venerable Tamiya kit an additional boost in detail that is well worth the effort and asking price. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  18. Bf.109G-14/AS ProfiPACK (82162) 1:48 Eduard The G variant of the Bf.109, colloquially known as the Gustav was one of the primary fighters available to the Luftwaffe during the closing years of WWII, and saw extensive active service, all the while being upgraded to combat the increasing Allied superiority in the air. Happily for the Allies, the supply of experienced pilots was fast running out, so as good as the upgrades were, they couldn't make an appreciable difference to the outcome. The G-14 was brought into service at a crucial time for the Axis forces, as the Allies pushed inland from the beachhead at Normandy, and it had an improved water injection system that gave the engine extra performance, plus the new clear-vision Erla-Haube canopy as standard. It was also an attempt to standardise the design to ease the job of construction, which had become decentralised due to the ferocity of the bombardment of the industrial areas by the Allied bombers at that stage of the war. As a result, few sub-variants were made of the G-14 even though over 5,000 were built, with command fighters and high-altitude variants the main exceptions, but the U4 had a powerful 30mm MK108 cannon fitted through the engine and firing through the centre of the prop. The AS sub-variant was the high-altitude interceptor that ran a DB 605ASM engine that was tuned for altitude, and used a methanol/water mixture dubbed ‘MW 50’ to provide an emergency combat boost for a limited period before it would cause issues. The Kit The 109G has been fairly comprehensively retooled by Eduard from their original, and while this is a new sub-variant some of the sprues date back to their later, more accurate edition. The five-digit product code is a clue to this do-over. The ProfiPACK offers additional decal options as well as other upgrades to the basic kit, and alongside the four sprues of grey styrene you will find one of clear, a sheet of nickel-plated and pre-painted Photo-Etch (PE), a sheet of pre-cut yellow kabuki tape masks (not pictured), two decal sheets and the usual Eduard colour instruction booklet printed on glossy paper. By now most of us are familiar with the fine surface detail and dainty riveting on the outer skin of Eduard’s many Gustav boxings, and the level of detail that has been crammed into this excellent tooling. There are also tons of aftermarket parts available from Eduard for those that want to add even more detail to their models, from engines, cockpits, to wheels, bronze gear legs and flying surfaces. The world really is your oyster when it comes to how much you want to throw at your build, but for many the included PE will be more than adequate. It's all up to you! Predictably the build starts with the cockpit, which has a number of PE controls added to the floor, and a full set of PE instruments that are ready to add to the painted cockpit, as well as the fuel line part that is supplied on the clear sprue because it has a glass section as it runs through the cockpit to allow the pilot easy access for checking if there's fuel reaching the engine. A hump between the pilot’s knees caters for the breech of the cannon fitted to this sub-variant, and a full set of painted crew belts are supplied on the PE fret, plus rudder pedals for good measure. More PE is attached to the cockpit sidewalls, and with all that glued and painted you can close up the fuselage around it, not forgetting the fixed tail wheel for two options, with a spinner back-plate fitted to the front of the fuselage, and the exhaust stubs with their slide-moulded hollow tips inserted from inside into their slots, with or without a flare shield that was useful during night flying. The upper nose cannon insert and supercharger intake fit into their respective areas, and a set of optional flame deflectors made from PE are added over the exhaust stacks to prevent blinding the pilot in low light flying, while giving the modeller a more realistic thickness to them. The G-14 had a couple of options for the tail fin, with the increased use of non-strategic wood, so the fin base is moulded to the fuselage, while the tip is separate with a vertical hinge-line. The rudder is separate, and you have a choice of two, one of which needs a little material removed from the trailing edge, as indicated in red. The fin depicted in this step is the cranked hinge-line variant that isn’t used in this boxing, so just ignore the fact that the rudder wouldn’t fit the fin as shown. The fixed tail wheel with gaiter for three of the decal options is fitted to a recess under the tail at this point too. The lower wing halves are full span, and you need to open up two holes for a centre-line rack and insert a clear part in the port wing for the antenna’s electrical isolator. The wheel bay sides are in three segments and mate with the inner surface of the upper wings to give an excellent level of detail once finished, with a tunnel added that receives the strut. A small pair of rectangular panel lines are scribed into the fuselage just in front of the windscreen using a PE template that is provided on the sheet, and a pair of teardrop masks are supplied for the wingtip lights, which are moulded into the wing, but can easily be replaced by cutting out the area and fitting some clear acrylic sheet of a suitable thickness, then sanding it to shape and polishing it back to clarity. A depression depicting the bulb can be drilled in the clear part before gluing to further enhance the look if you feel so motivated. Separate leading-edge slats, ailerons and flaps are supplied, with the latter fitting around the radiator bays under the wing, which have PE grilles front and rear. A scrap diagram shows the correct orientation of the parts to ensure that both layers align correctly as per the real thing. The narrow-track landing gear consists of a single strut with moulded-in oleo scissor, a captive door that glues against it, and the one-piece tyre with separate hubs on each side. The legs fit into sockets in the wheel bays, and horn balances are fitted to the ailerons, a choice of styles of antenna under the wing is added, and a small PE access panel is glued under the fuselage behind the wing trailing edge. Before fitting the canopy, the clear gunsight must be partially painted and fitted to the top of the instrument panel, and a pair of PE grab handles are attached to the inside of the windscreen, which should be partially painted RLM66 inside or outside before the exterior colours. The Erla-style canopy opener also has PE parts added plus the pilot's head armour and a short aerial on the rear, with a PE retaining wire included for posing the canopy open. A manual starter handle is also present in case you wanted to show your G-14/AS in a more candid pose on the ground. The prop is a single part and is sandwiched by the back plate and spinner before being inserted into the hole in the front of the fuselage. Two styles of external fuel tank are supplied, one with a flat bottom edge for additional ground clearance, and the other with a smoother exterior. These fit on a rack that sits on the centreline for all markings options, a rudder trim actuator is fitted, and a small twig antenna is fitted to all options with a tiny circular base, both of which are made of PE. Markings The main markings are carried on the larger sheet, while the stencils are on the smaller one. Stencils are drawn on a separate page of the instructions to reduce repetition and clutter, and each marking option has a page all to itself to cut down on confusion and give the modeller good sized diagrams to follow. From the box you can build one of these five options: WNr.784938, III./JG6, Bissel, Germany, January 1945 WNr.783891, Fw. Heinz-Paul Müller, 9./JG300, Jüterbog-Damm, Germany, Autumn 1944 Lt. Walter Köhne, CO of 6./JG 11, Wunsdorf, Germany, October 1944 Wnr.785185, Lt. Heinz Schüler, 16./JG5, Stavanger-Forus, Norway, March 1945 WNr.785083, Sgt. Magg. Aroldo Burei, 1° Squadriglia, 1° Gruppo, Caccia ANR, Malpensa, Italy, April 1945 The masks (not pictured) cover the armoured glass in the pilot's head armour, the wheel hubs and of course the canopy, with the curved part having frame-hugging masks that need filling in the compound curved areas with scrap tape or liquid mask. These are a great time-saver and the fit of them is usually spot-on, and the only masks that are better would be if you picked up a set of Tface masks, also from Eduard that allow you to paint the canopy internally, as well as the usual exterior paint-job. I’m a big fan of those. The decals are printed by Eduard and are in good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The stencils are on a separate sheet, and are marked on a page of the booklet, separate from the rest of the markings to avoid confusion from trying to read overly busy diagrams. Don’t forget that as of 2021, the carrier film from Eduard decals can be coaxed away from the printed part of the decal after they have been applied, effectively rendering them carrier-free, making the decals much thinner and more realistic, and obviating the need to apply successive coats of clear varnish to hide the edges of the film. It’s a great step further in realism from my point of view. Conclusion These are superb kits from Eduard, and they are priced well, considering the detail and markings options included. They don't bother with novelties such as magnets to hold cowlings in place, but if you should perchance want to show off your engine, you can get a superbly detailed resin unit separately and those that don't want to show off their engines don't have to pay for parts they aren't going to use. The G is my personal favourite, so I'm more than happy to see another one from Eduard. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  19. Another day, another Luftwaffe build from me. This time it's the Hasegawa Bf 109F-4/Trop in 1:48 with markings for Marseille's last Bf 109F before moving to the ill-fated G-2/Trop. The kit decals are cracked and are beyond saving, so I'll use a mix from Xtradecals, Academy and Hobby Boss ones. Boxart: This is a special edition with resin wheels. Regular ones are also included. Original decals: Before starting the assembly I decided to paint the small parts on the sprues.
  20. Keeping with my trend of big scale Luftwaffe planes, I purchased this one today. Decals had some sort of rust colour on the sheet but none on the decals themselves. I tested the Dragon logo on hot water and was able to slide it onto the surface of a paint mule without breaking it. The model is huge, almost the same size as my Ju 88 from Revell in 1:32. The kit includes a small decal sheet (that doesn't come with the stenciling), a small PE fret, a metal wire, and over 400 parts molded in light grey plastic. However, this one won't be my next build. My next one will be the Revell 32nd scale Me 262A-1a. I'm just preparing the mood for this future build 😋. Here's the boxart:
  21. Messerschmitt Bf 109E-1 "JG.77" (AZ7805) 1:72 AZ Model Kits The BF 109 has inherited quite a legendary status and when you look into its service career, it's certainly obvious why. Viewing the design in retrospect, it looks just like a typical fighter of the WWII era, but it was more than that, it was the very platform that the single seat fighter format was born from. Powerful engine, monocoque airframe, all metal construction, enclosed cockpit and retractable gear this was unheard of before hand, it was radical, not typical in the 1930's. Its birth wasn't perfect however, to achieve its performance, some sacrifices were made, particularly in the landing gear arrangement and high wing loading having a negative effect on landing speeds compared to the competition at the time. This inherent design issue was never fully cured and it's estimated that at least 10% of all 109's were lost in take off accidents. Early models (A-D) were powered by the Junkers jumo engine with outputs of around 700hp. The aircraft was first used in combat during the Spanish Civil War where many lessons were learned and these would be later put to good use in battles over France and Britain. The E or Emil model broke the mould in 109 development by changing to the more powerful Daimler Benz DB 601 engine of around 1080hp, a significant step in performance and also in armament due to the introduction of 20mm cannon. By 1939, all earlier variants had been replaced in frontline service. As the variants progressed, so did the level of armour protection for the pilot. Another critical element to improve survivability was the use of twin radiators with cut off valves meaning that if one radiator was damaged, the other could be used to keep it airborne. The Emil was the primary Luftwaffe fighter until 1941 when the F model became widely available with more powerful engine although a few managed to see combat in the Battle of Britain. For an aircraft that broke the mould with fighter technology and performance in the mid 30's, it's evolution meant that whilst it's design had exhausted improvement capability towards the end of the war, it stayed in operational use until 1965 in Europe in the guise of the Spanish licence built HA 1112 using the Merlin power plant. During its 30 year career, more than 33,000 were built, a record that will probably never be beaten. The Kit This is a new decal issues, for their brand new tool kits from 2020 from. The quality is first class with crisp moulding and fine engraved panel lines. Given the small size of the real aircraft, in 1/72 the model is quite diminutive, but seems well detailed. There are many parts on the sprue including a full set of wings, different wheels, and different spinners so no doubt other marks can be built from the box, and either way the modeller will have lots of spare parts. Construction starts with the cockpit. The floor and rear bulkhead are moulded as one. The seat is added alongside the control column with belts being provided as decals. The front bulkhead with the instrument panel goes in, here the instruments are provided as decal. The prop is constructed next with different spinners for the E and E-1. The cockpit then goes into the right fuselage. Up front there is no engine but a lower plate for the radiator and a pair of exhausts. Once these are in the fuselage can be closed up. Now we move to the wings with the radiators being fitted in before the wings are assembled. There is a single lower wing with split left and right uppers. Once assembled this can added to the fuselage. The main landing gear is ten assembled and added, followed by the tail wheel. Moving back to the top of the aircraft the front engine cover/gun area can be added along with the pilots head armour. The prop can be fitted along with the engine intake and the canopy. On the underside a carrier for a bomb, or different carrier for a fuel tank can be added as needed. The last items to be added are the tail planes along with their supporting struts. Markings The glossy decal sheet is printed in house and looks sharp and in register. There are three decal options available from the decal sheet, all from JG.77 (no surprise there) Conclusion It is good to see a new tool out of this most famous aircraft. I am no 109 expert but it looks to be a well detailed and engineered kit. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  22. Me.262A-1a & P-51B Combat Set (03711) 1:72 Revell Believe it or not (most of you will), the technologically advanced Messerschmitt Me.262 and the P-51 Mustang did actually square off against each other in the skies over Germany. Not many P-51Bs would have still been in service, but even though there was a huge difference in top speed, the doughty Mustang shot down a number of these shark-like fighters, especially at the weaker points of their flight envelope during take-off and landing, where the low spool-up of the jet engines made them an easier target. This kit from Revell is in their Combat Set range, and puts together these old foes in the one box, both of them being a product of the late 90s. The 262 came out in 1997, while the Mustang was released a year later, although having been moulded in silver styrene this time around, it looks older on initial inspection. Let’s handle them separate in case there’s a (dog) fight. Me.262A-1a The shark-like profile of the Messerschmitt Me.262 Schwalbe and its almost matchless abilities at the time have given it a high profile despite its lack of practical effect on the outcome of WWII. If Der Fuhrer had been a little less prone to meddling however, the effect of its presence may have been felt more by the bomber streams than it was – thankfully! That's if they could have solved the metallurgy of the engines to obtain sufficient time before they burned themselves to destruction – 100 hours for most engines if the aircraft it hung off lasted that long. That's a lot of ifs, but if we concentrate on the actual performance of it, it's still an impressive aircraft that was superior to the British Meteor in most respects, using axial flow jet engines and swept outer wing panels together with a slippery aerodynamic shape. It first flew with a prop in the nose and dummy engines, dragging its tail along the ground until airborne, but this was changed once the engines were live, as the heat and thrust from both engines would have played havoc with their landing strips. The delays were caused partly by Hitler's insistence that the airframe should be able to carry bombs, which it eventually could under its nose, but as usual their efforts were spread too thin by trying to make the Schwalbe a jack of all trades, all of which took valuable engineers and strategic materials away from the fighters that were desperately needed in the Defence of the Reich. The huge speed differential between the Schwalbe and its bomber stream targets meant that zoom attacks were necessary, giving precious little time for the pilot to take aim due to the high rate of closure and subsequent overshoot. The aircraft were also vulnerable during take-off and landing due to the slow spooling-up of early jet engines, which the Allies took full advantage of to reduce the fleet further, with intensive maintenance whittling away at the available airframes even further. It was a case of too little too late in terms of numbers, and even with their speed advantage a few were shot down in flight by piston-engined Allied aircraft due in part to the extensive experience that the Allied crews had gained during the invasion and the comparative lack of experienced German pilots by that stage of the war. As the Allies rolled through Germany, they captured airbases and research establishments with many variants that didn't see combat found and hoovered up by US Operation Paperclip and similar operations by the other Allied governments. The kit is on four sprues of pale greenish grey styrene, with a clear sprue in a separate bag, and shared instructions and decals. Construction of the 262 begins with the two fuselage halves, which should have a few holes drilled out and another on the spine that straddles both parts. The cockpit tub is next, and this one really is a tub. The front bulkhead is partly moulded-in but has another laminated to it, while the aft one is glued in place along with seat, instrument panel and control column. The detail is pretty good for the scale, and there is also some wheel bay detail on the opposite face to the tub, as well as the inside of the fuselage halves. The tub also has a couple of ejector pin marks that will need filling if you are cutting out the bays (see later) and think the centreline bay divider won’t hide them. The fuselage can then be closed up with some nose-weight added because this is a potential tail-sitter thanks to the nose wheel. The nose has a big empty slot underneath, which is filled by an insert with the nose-gear bay slotted inside, which has some internal ribbing within. The rear of the cockpit cut-out is covered with a ‘hump’, which makes it ready for its wings. The lower wing is a full-width, and inexplicably has a pair of main gear bay roof panels moulded-in, despite it already having the correct hollow bay details already there. If it makes your mind boggle as much as mine, just cut out the inner section and make good. Sounds easy if you say it fast, doesn’t it? The lower is glued to the fuselage and joined by the two upper wing panels, then the two engines and their nacelles are made up from two side cowlings, nose cone, and rear bullet that is attached to the inside on the two horizontal stator vanes, but take care to ensure the bullet is in the centre of the exhaust before you leave the glue to dry. When you’ve dealt with the seams they should insert neatly into the underside of the wing, filling out the notches in the leading-edge with their fairings. The elevators slot into the tail in the usual tab & slot manner, then it’s on to the landing gear. You can quickly pose the gear retracted by fitting the single nose gear bay door and the two main bay doors after removing the pegs for the landed option. The bay doors are all separated for the gear-down option, then the nose wheel with separate tyre goes into the bay with the two door parts, while each main wheel strut has a separate retraction jack, two captive bay doors and separate wheel, which is rather well appointed with detail. The trapezoid inner doors are both positioned on the centreline between the bays, and if you’ve cut that bit off to see the correctly shaped interior, you need to get the styrene rod and glue out! A pitot probe is fitted to the port wingtip, with two antennae under the wing and fuselage, then a finely-moulded D/F loop behind the cockpit, and a single part canopy part is glued over the aperture, although you’re going to have to work to find some of the canopy framing lines. Again, it’s not the kit’s finest part, and it’s somewhat of a let-down compared to the rest of the kit. The aftermarket seems bereft of replacements, although I’ve been wrong before. To use those bomb-mounts that slowed the 262’s gestation too much, a pair of two-part auxiliary fuel tanks are provided that sit on short pylons under the nose. Silly Adolf. North American P-51B Mustang Originally developed to fulfil a British requirement for a new fighter aircraft, the unmistakeable North American P-51 Mustang famously went from drawing board to first flight in just 178 days. It went on to become one of the most famous and successful aircraft of the Second World War. The original Allinson engine was hopeless above 12,000ft, and was transformed by being replaced by Rolls Royce’s legendary Merlin engine. With its Achilles heel sent packing, the Mustang went from strength to strength and was eventually developed into several successively better variants. The P-51D introduced a number of improvements in response to combat experience, including a cut-down rear fuselage and bubble canopy, plus an increase in the number of 0.5 inch machine guns from four to six. Over 8,000 P-51Ds were produced, more than any other Mustang variant. As already mentioned, this is a re-release of one of Revell’s earlier kits from the late 90s. there are three sprues of silver-coloured plastic, a one-piece canopy on its own sprue (wrapped separately for protection), with the instruction and decal sheet shared between the kits. As may be expected of an older kit, the quality of mouldings is not quite up there with Revell’s latest releases. There is an amount of flash present and some fairly prominent ejector-pin marks on the upper wing and some more inside, so some cleaning up will be required, which is best done before commencing the build. Surface detail is comprised of fine engraved lines and rivets plus some raised details where appropriate, so care will have to be taken when sanding seams to avoid destroying this detail. The cockpit is made up on a floor panel, with heavy moulded-in wood effect, the rear radio gear on a pedestal and a front bulkhead, which is improved with the addition of an instrument panel with moulded-in rudder pedals, control column and seat with moulded-in belts. The sidewalls of the fuselage also have some basic internal detail moulded in, and after painting the fuselage can be closed up and left to cure, followed by some seam filling. The lower wing has a couple of holes reamed out for the drop-tanks, then it is attached to the underside of the fuselage and joined by the upper wings, with the two elevators slotted into the tail, at right-angles to the tail fin. The exhaust stacks slot into the sides of the nose, then with the airframe flipped on its back, the chin scoop lip, belly intake lip, and two cooling flaps at the rear are installed, capable of being posed open or closed if you wish. You have the option to model this Mustang with wheels up or down. With wheels up, there are just three parts and you’re done. For the wheels down option, there’s a single tail-wheel part and you chop the tail bay door piece in half then pose them splayed open. The main bay doors are cut into two sections, with the tapered part attached to the main strut along with the wheel, and the rest of the door attached to the centre divider between the bay halves under the fuselage. The prop has four separate blades on a rear boss, which are then hidden away after adding a retaining ring by the spinner cap. A clear leading-edge landing light is fitted into the cut-out in the port wing, then the other clear part, the one-piece canopy is glued into the cockpit. This part is not the best, and is a funny shape (IMHO) as well as being far from clear. It’s a shame, really as beneath the old-skool silver moulding, it’s not a bad kit, so I’d be looking for a replacement part for the Malcolm hood, and a quick search on Hannants shows one for another brand, but whether it’ll fit, I don’t know. The last parts are the two optional compressed paper fuel tanks that each mount on a short pylon with anti-sway braces on each side, fore and aft. Markings Each kit has just the one decal option as per the boxtop, and those are on the same sheet, although you’ll need some Swastikas for the tail of the 262 if you’re going to depict them. From the box you can build one of each of the following: Messerschmitt 262A-1a W.Nr. 110836* P-51B Mustang Captain Willard Millikan, 336th Fighter Squ., 4th Fighter Group, May 1945 * A misprint has slipped past the proof-reader on the instructions, with the heading over the 262 reading “Messerschmitt Bf.109G-10, Normandie, D-Day”. Even with my limited knowledge of aviation, I can tell you that’s a mistake. There’s no prop, for a start. We all make mistakes though, so let’s not go on about it. To err is human… If you don’t make mistakes, you’re either lying to yourself and everyone else, or a deity. Anyway, moving on, decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion This is a re-release of two nice little kits that have disappointing canopies. The Mustang has the most work to prep the parts, and the 262 has that weird and extraneous main gear bay. They’re by no means perfect kits, but as they say forewarned is forearmed. Recommended, just read the whole review. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  23. Messerschmitt Me.163B Komet 1:32 Meng Models The Komet was a diminutive rocket-propelled point defence fighter that was designed to power up into the bomber stream and cut the incoming heavies to pieces with cannon fire. In reality its short duration, volatile fuel and high speed differential between it and the lumbering bombers made that a little optimistic, and although it was an incredibly advanced little aircraft, it wasnt the wonder-weapon that Hitler was so fond of, and did little to turn the tide of devastation that the bombers left behind. It began as a glider, evolved through prop propulsion and went on to use a rocket engine designed by the Walther company. It was given the number 163 to hide its true identity and after a short while its development was continued at the top-secret Peenemünde establishment where various speed records were secretly broken by the little aircraft. To conserve resources, a lot of the skin was made of wood, which also helped to save weight, and along with the absence of landing gear in favour of a retractable skid, resulted in a high power to weight ratio. Take-off was accomplished by using a jettisonable two-wheeled dolly, which caused some damage to test aircraft due its wicked rebound characteristics that caused it to hit the aircraft under some circumstances. The rocket motor had a short burn time before it ran out of fuel, which meant that the Komet couldnt linger in the bomber formation, and that landing was always without power. It was very manoeuvrable both under power and whilst gliding, but the Allied pilots soon came to understand that it would run out of fuel and would either pounce when the fuel ran out, as it landed, or just after, which necessitated the setting up of flak perimeters around their bases to discourage this technique. Removing the soft suspension cured the damage caused by bouncing dolly, but the pilot could still give his back a nasty jar on landing if the skid malfunctioned, which was done without power, so a go-around wasnt an option. The A was more-or-less a working prototype, and as it wasnt designed for mass production, was always going to have a short lifespan. It was replaced by the B model that incorporated changes from lessons learned with the A, and simplifications that made construction both cheaper and quicker. This is the model that were all familiar with, and the subject of this kit. With under ten minutes of powered flight, numerous problems, dangers of flying the Komet, and fuel shortages, it wasnt able to be mass-produced quickly enough to stem the influx of heavy bombers, and the 163S two-seater trainer had only progressed to prototype by wars end, while the C and D models remained paper projects. In May 1945, JG400, the sole operational users of the 163 disbanded and its pilots went to other units. A few surviving airframes were captured by the Allied at the end of the war, and famous test pilot Captain Eric Brown flew a B model under power with the aid of some captive German ground crew. He described it as like flying a runaway train, but was pleasantly surprised by its handling. The Kit This one popped up on Mengs list of future releases with no forewarning, and a few months later the review sample has arrived and it is available from the Far East, and soon to be with us in the UK with any luck. My review copy arrived in an attractive white sleeve that has a cut-out matching the aircraft on the front. Under the sleeve is a standard Meng satin-finished box that is a bit narrower and appears longer than their usual. The box art is to their usual high standard, and shows an unpowered aircraft swooping danger-close to the front of a B-17. Paintings of the decal options are reproduced on the sides of the box, with the captured British option showing the rear fuselage removed to expose the rocket motor. Inside the box are five sprues in dark grey styrene, one in black, a clear sprue, a bag of flexible wheels and polycaps, two frets of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a decal sheet and a landscape oriented instruction booklet with integral painting guide. Meng have quickly garnered a reputation for quality products, and they are also no strangers to unusual subjects, which I find endearing, and its clear by their success that others do too. Simple things like an additional low-tack wrap to prevent scratches to the clear parts, individual bagging of sprues, and nicely done printing of box and instructions all make our task of building their kits more pleasant, while PE in the box and the likes of instrument dials all add value. The kit? Oh yes it looks great on first impression. Lots of detail, including a pretty much full interior to the fuselage, sensible use of slide-moulds to provide detail where it wouldn't normally be possible, which of course includes hollow barrels to the weapons. Surface detail is exemplary, with delicate panel lines and rivet detail where appropriate and smooth styrene where it should be, especially the wing surfaces, which were mostly wooden. Something tells me that the old Hasegawa kit is going to be dumped in the deep stash as a consequence. The Komet has a rather visible cockpit due to the large side opening canopy and side windows, and this is where the construction begins. The rather utilitarian seat is built up from two parts, with the back and sides of the backrest riveted for additional detail. A set of seatbelts are included on the larger PE fret, and the assembly fits onto the aft bulkhead with a headrest and two clear panels for rear vision to each side of the seat. The cockpit tub is moulded as a single part with the large T-stoff tanks showing their strengthening straps and some basic instrumentation on the starboard tank. The sidewalls curve in sharply to the sill, and these parts attach to the tops of the side "consoles" and have additional details such as the oxygen controls and trim wheels added before they are added. The instrument panel has a choice of either a single piece of styrene with raised instrument dials, or a styrene backing part with four PE panels, and a set of individual instrument decals for each dial. Which will give the best result will probably depend on your painting skills, but the PE wins by a head due to having a flat dial area rather than raised details. The cockpit is then finished off by bringing the tub, sidewalls, rear bulkhead (with seat) and instrument panel together, secured by slots and tabs to ensure a good alignment. The kit depicts a HWK109-509A rocket motor, which gave the pilot the ability to throttle the engine back to extend powered flight times, but the added complexity gave rise to reliability problems. No such concerns in a 1:32 reproduction though, and everything is represented in the strange looking "crate" where the hypergolic fuels were mixed in the turbopump and spontaneously ignite to produce a jet of superheated carbon dioxide, steam and nitrogen. The part count in the turbopump area is high, and detail is good as a result. The rear of the crate is a large mounting plate with a six-fingered web of strengtheners to hold the exhaust tube in place, and this is also similarly well detailed. The exhaust itself is split vertically with a circular part to give a hollow lip. A circular ring sits around the engine, attaching to the back of the rear support structure, also mounting the strut that leads back from the exhaust to prevent thrust induced oscillation of the exhaust. The C-stoff tank sits on a floor panel and a pair of bulkheads just in front of the rocket motor, which is glued to the rear bulkhead on four stand-off mounts. Showing its glider roots, the large skid on the Komet sits on the underside covering a large portion of the fuselage. It comes complete with a rendition of the jettisonable launch dolly with two large wheels mounted transverse to the skid. The hubs are in two halves with a polycap trapped between them, onto which the flexible tyre is shoehorned. A couple of stencil decals are applied to the hub, and the wheels can be pressed onto the two-part axle. The retraction/suspension assembly that holds the skid in place is built up as another section, with the three attachment points to the skid mounted in a three part bay with a cylinder in the perforated roof panel. All of the skid parts are in black styrene, probably for differentiation from the rest of the kit maybe? In order to depict the skid in the retracted position, simply omit the suspension bay and glue the skid directly to the fuselage. The fuselage halves are split between forward and aft for access to the rocket motor, and the forward half has large cut-outs at the wing root, which makes for a flexible part when nipped off the sprues. This won't last long however, as a pair of inserts fit to the inside and provide the inner wall to the cannon bays, plus a pair of wing attachment points to give a good joint that replicates the real thing, and will be seen if you leave open the cannon bay access panels. It encloses the cockpit/C-stoff tank/rocket motor assembly, which have the ammo boxes and feeders for the wing root cannons straddling the tanks. A couple of small sections of the fuselage are added to the open sections, and at this point it starts to look a little bit more like an aircraft. Adding the nose cone with its little comedy prop that actually powers the auxiliary electrical system gives you a choice of two types of spinner with a small axle that allows it to remain mobile if you are careful with the glue. In preparation for the addition of the cockpit, the thick bullet-proof panel on the coaming is built up from a frame and two clear surfaces along with gunsight and two stabilising struts. A scrap diagram shows how the parts should look from the side. The canopy is made from a clear part with a grey styrene frame and a small PE latch on the inside. It can be posed open or closed although I suspect that a retaining wire should limit the opening angle, but that's an easy fix if so. A pair of panels on the top of the fuselage cover the ammo boxes for the cannon and the rocket motor's turbopump assembly, with separate latches in PE so that they can be folded for either open or closed positions. The rear fuselage is separate from the front, as mentioned earlier, and it holds the retractable tail wheel, with four possible layouts. There are two basic types with and without fairings, but they can both be depicted down or retracted by using different leg parts. The wheel is the common aspect, and consists of a single piece hub with detail on both sides, around which a tiny flexible tyre is pulled on with some very nice circumferential tread detail, marred only by two mould lines running perpendicular on opposing faces. A bit of scrubbing with a sanding stick should see those off however. Your chosen tail wheel is trapped within the two halves of the rear fuselage, and because it is potentially open to viewing, it has some nice ribbing detail moulded in, and cleverly Meng have added a pair of insert panels in the top and bottom that hide the top and bottom seams, and hide their own by butting them up against the ribbing. The rudder is also trapped between the fuselage halves, having some nice fabric sag moulded in between the ribs, and if you're careful with the glue again, it can be left operable. A pair of linking parts sit between the forward and aft fuselages, occupying the trailing edge wing-root and allowing you to leave the fuselage loose to remove at will, using a friction fit to do so. If you choose to leave them apart in your display cabinet, a trestle is included to prop up the exhaust, and a box-trestle is include for the rear fuselage, making for an attractive display. The gun bays are built into the wings, and you have an option of installing two MK108 30mm cannons for the production aircraft, or the earlier MG151/20 20mm units that were present on the 30 B-0 variant airframes, one of which is the bright red mount of Wolfgang Spate. As mentioned earlier, the barrels for both choices are hollow, and the detail of the breeches and barrels is good enough for all but the most pedantic. The apertures in the leading edge of the root are inserts that are shaped for each type of armament, with decal option call-outs to assist you in choosing, which is also the case for the pitot probe. When the wing halves are closed around the appropriate choice of cannon, the leading edge slats are added, the cannon bay doors added (or not), and you can choose whether to pose the air brakes open or closed. Leaving them closed just requires you to glue the PE brakes flat in the recess on the lower wing, while the open option includes a pair of actuators that fix to the inner face of the brake panels in recessed spots. The finished brake is then inserted into the slot in the shallow bay, which should hopefully set the correct angle when deployed. The wings are a straight butt-fit with the fuselage, with a very large contact area between them that should result in a good joint. Meng are pretty consistent with good fit, but if you worry about the tidiness of the joint between the wing and fuselage, you would do well to check pictures of the real thing, the joints of which are appalling! Markings Meng routinely use Cartograf for their decals, so they are of peerless quality, and some popular choices have been included in the box, although I'm sure someone won't like them! From the sheet you can build one of the following: 2./JG400 Brandis, early 1945 RLM82/83 green over RLM76 Me.163B V-41 piloted by Major Wolfgang Spate, 13th May 1944 all over red with coding PK+QL RAF Me.163B VF241 piloted by Eric Brown, 7th July 1945 RLM81 wings and tail fin, RLM76 upper fuselage and rudder with RLM82 mottle over a trainer yellow underside Many folks have expressed a desire to model the famous red Komet, and because of his legendary status in British aviation, Winkle Brown's mount for that dangerous powered flight is an obvious and doubtless popular choice. The other choice seems mundane by comparison, but it is an in-service machine without the pomp and circumstance of the other options, and is a nice counter-point. I understand that there wasn't much in the way of hard-and-fast rules for painting these rocket powered aircraft, and there is a lot of scope for post-war captured machines that were tested by many countries, and there will probably be a flurry of activity before too long in that direction. Of course the decals are in good register with excellent colour density and sharpness, while the carrier film has a soft satin sheen. Some of the roundels and codes are broken down to accommodate the air brakes, and the swastika is present in paired halves to avoid breaching the rules around such an evocative symbol. Conclusion It's a testament to the golden age of modelling that we are undoubtedly in that such quality kits are coming through the door so regularly, and this is especially true of Meng's releases. It is an excellent kit, with detail everywhere, and should appeal to anyone that would like a large scale Komet on their shelves. Having built the old Hasegawa kit, this is light years ahead in terms of detail, and really does relegate it to the back of the stash. I'll be building this one in Mr Brown's scheme with all the doors and bays open to see, I think. Extremely highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  24. Brengun is to release a 1/144th Messerschmitt Me-309 V-1/V-2 kit - ref. BRP144015 Source: https://www.facebook.com/HaulerBrengun/posts/1705025429656098 Box art V.P.
  25. Hello guys, Here are the photos of my most recently completed model, the Me P.1099 from Revell Germany in 1:72.
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